Reporting Esme Murphy
GOLDEN VALLEY (WCCO) — At the time when many hardware chains are closing stores, Menards says it opens a new location every week. Its latest has re-invented the traditional hardware store.
A year ago, the Menards along Interstate 394 in Golden Valley closed its doors. It was knocked down and rebuilt into a new Mega Menards.
“Menards has expanded over the years with what we carry. We basically grew out of the old store,” said store General Manager, Steve Gossen.
From the outside, the store looks like any other Menards in the area. But as soon as customers walk in, they’ll find a two-story hardware haven.
“It’s a unique look for a store like this,” Gossen explained. “You can pretty much see what we’re going to offer around the store. You can look right up and see our cabinet kitchen displays up above.”
Menards hired 100 additional staff members for the 225,000 square foot store. The bigger store meant more space for displays. This particular location has 41 kitchen displays to help customers see and know what they’re buying.
“Over the years, we’ve perfected these stores and what people are looking for. They want the wide aisles and they want the room to be able to shop. They want to be able to pick up their selections and be able to use them,” said Gossen.
Construction crews and do-it-yourselfers will find what they’ve grown to expect: a surplus of nails, light fixtures and garden supplies. Now, they can pick out those items to the tune of a grand piano. The expectation is younger local musicians will play for customers.
Next to the piano is another unusual sight, rolling walkways that act like an escalator.
“The carts have a unique locking system on them, so when they’re pushed on, the wheels lock and it takes them right up and wheels right off when you come to the top,” Gossen said.
Perhaps the biggest section you wouldn’t expect to see in a hardware store: the expanded grocery area.
It’s stocked with everything from cheese and eggs, to soup and cereal.
“If you needed to pick up some milk in the morning, you could swing by here, get your bulbs that burnt out, grab a gallon of milk and you’re done,” said Gossen.
Menards’ Golden Valley location will open to customers Tuesday. It’s grand opening is March 24.
The Richfield location is closing in two weeks for the exact same type renovation.
Tracy Perlman, Producer